Get out of the warm bath, it’s starting to cool

It is so easy to fall back into the groove and forget your priorities – exploring people and places … and take photographs

A 10-week house-sit brought me back to Auckland in January.  Auckland is my hometown and I settled quickly – I knew the people and I knew the places.  I was so comfortable that I forgot to ‘explore’.  I became afraid this comfortable “warm bath” feeling may become the norm and I would really “settle”.

While in Auckland, I found a job to top up the bank account.  The job was a short-term contract with the University of Auckland and I continued to house sit in Auckland – getting more comfortable and into a rhythm.

Then … in March I was offered a house sit in Switzerland – three months over Christmas.  I leaped out of my warm bath and started planning.  My philosophy has been to allow house-sits to choose where I go and here I am in Germany house sitting.  My bath is no longer warm – I don’t speak (or read) German, the supermarket shelves are challenging, the television/radio is in German, but I am out of my comfort zone and experiencing the world, which incidentally New Zealand is such a tiny, though precious, piece.

This picture shows supermarket shelves of chocolate products
Labels are in German, prices are in Euro. Food shopping is a skill which needs to be re-learned

Two things to remember – get out of the warm bath (especially if you have been there for a while) and remember the people …

I met wonderful people at the UoA (and from my house sits).  It takes time for me to develop relationships and learn about people’s dreams, aspirations, and their priorities.  I did this with some UoA people I met on my commuting buses e.g. the 550 (Jenny), 625 (Helena) and 972 (Margaret, Alice, Kate) bus.  The Pizza afternoon also gave an opportunity to laugh and participate and I did not expect the singing.  From the shared and vegan lunches of the “fun’ side, I was able to learn more.

Thank you UoA people for the farewell, the morning tea, the afternoon pizza – it was awesome, but I did not capture those moments.  Another lesson  … take photos – I had many opportunities during my last week at UoA to take photos and I regret I did not.  Please, Finance gather around your whiteboard (or whatever) and send me a picture.  And the “fun” side send me a group pic too.  I will post them to this blog.

Auf Wiedersehen

Moushka, a sweet Sydney Silkie

A small terrier with a large family who will miss her

Unfortunately, I have another dog to farewell. Moushka was my first official pet sit in 2015. I also sat with her on my 22nd and 33rd pet sit.

The housesitting ad said, “To care for one small elderly dog”. Moushka was 15 years old Continue reading “Moushka, a sweet Sydney Silkie”

Stella, the innocent, mischievous Lagotto Romagnolo, sadly missed

My condolences go to Christine, Tim and Stella’s other companions – Joey, Coco, Magic, Gibbston and Clyde. She will be sadly missed.

She eyed me warily as I entered her house.  It was the eyes I first noticed about Stella, they contained a hint of fear.

But as she saw me accepted by her other family members they changed to an intelligent mischievous look. Continue reading “Stella, the innocent, mischievous Lagotto Romagnolo, sadly missed”

Stage 2 de-clutter – the patchwork goes

I am ready for more de-cluttering. I can let go of my fabric and colours

It is time.  I am ready.  I now know that I do not need all that fabric – truly.  Yes, it is beautiful but it has been superfluous for many years now and someone else can add it to their collection or perhaps they may even cut it into little bits and sew them back together again. Continue reading “Stage 2 de-clutter – the patchwork goes”

on my book shelf is “Dear World, how are you?”

This is an amazing story of a small boy’s quest “to write to somebody in every country in the world, to learn about the world, help people understand each other and make the world a better place”

I first saw “Dear World, How are you? in the Nelson library (libraries are good places to visit when you’re new to an area.  They are abundant on local information).  Displayed with the new books, the byline read “The true story of a little boy on a big quest” – how could I resist? Continue reading “on my book shelf is “Dear World, how are you?””

Poppy, a Guide Dog, remembered

A story about a guide dog.
Please help support Team Guide Dogs in the Auckland Round the Bays 2017

She was born on 3 September 1992 at the Guide Dog Breeding and Training Centre at Homai, South Auckland, a black bundle of fluff, from a litter of nine pups.  As a pup, she met up with her Puppy Walkers in Henderson and guide dog training began. Continue reading “Poppy, a Guide Dog, remembered”

top of the stairs are Fine Arts in Oamaru

the historic precinct in Oamaru is home to some fine old buildings which are now a home to Home Gallery Fine Art

The building was made of Oamaru stone.  It was impressive on the corner of Harbour and Wansbeck St.
this picture shows the stairs and the barrel at the top of the Home Gallery Fine Arts.The stairs were well trodden in the 134-year-old building.  The 25 steps indicated the generous height of each level.  A smooth handrail confirmed that many people had ventured up these stairs.

The room at the top of the stairs was empty and capacious except for the desk.  In the middle of the space was the grain elevator from the years when Wool and Grain were stored in this warehouse.  The wooden structure of the building was obvious and expansive.  The tall arched windows looked out to the bay. Continue reading “top of the stairs are Fine Arts in Oamaru”